Few families have contributed as much to English history and literature-indeed, to the arts generally-as the Sidney family. This two-volume Ashgate Research Companion assesses the current state of scholarship on family members and their impact, as historical and literary figures, in the period 1500-1700. Volume 1: Lives, begins with an overview of the Sidneys and politics, providing some links to court events, entertainments, literature, and patronage. The volume gives biographies to prominent high-profile Sidney women and men, as well as sections assessing the influence of the family in the areas of the English court, international politics, patronage, religion, public entertainment, the visual arts, and music. The focus of the second volume is the literary contributions of Sir Philip Sidney; Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke; Lady Mary Wroth; Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester; and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Volume 2: Literature, begins with an exploration of the Sidneys' books and manuscripts and how they circulated, followed by an overview of the contributions of family members -Sir Philip Sidney; Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke; Lady Mary Wroth; Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester; and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke - in the genres of prose romance, drama, poetry, psalms and prose. These essays outline major controversies and areas for further research, as well as conducting literary analysis.
'The Ashgate Research Companion to The Sidneys not only brings the reader up-to-date with current scholarship about the principal members of this talented family, but offers as well new analysis of what is known, new insights into their lives and works, and suggestions for further study. This is an invaluable compendium of current understanding about all major aspects of Sidney research.' Steven W. May, Emory University, USA